Moderation the way forward, say groups

In News by

YUEN MEIKENG

thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: Religious groups agreed that moderation is the way forward in a multi-religious country like Malaysia and support the Prime Minister’s proposal to promote peace and harmony during this World Interfaith Harmony Week and form a global movement of moderates.

Malaysian Consultative Council on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism president Rev Dr Thomas Philips said people should empathise with each other before making any comments about another person’s faith. “Even if we disagree, we should learn to respect other people’s religious beliefs. We are all different,” he said yesterday.

Dr Philips said they would join any global movement of moderates. “We should follow the middle path and act for the good of the nation and its people.”

On Monday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said extremism in any faith would leave a negative impact on the community. He said this during a luncheon with religious leaders in conjunction with World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Allied Coordinating Committee of Islamic NGOs (Accin) council member Sabariah Abdul­lah said Accin was willing to join the movement if it was for the good of the country.

“A Muslim should be a moderate person. It means that we behave in moderation while not compromising our Islamic principles,” she said.

Sabariah, who is also Islamic Information and Services Foundation secretary-general, said Muslims were taught to respect other religions.

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uddhist Chief High Priest of Malaysia K. Sri Dhammaratana Nayaka Maha Thera lauded Najib’s initiative in calling for the movement’s formation and urged people to offer their cooperation. “Our religious freedom in Malaysia is good compared to other parts of the world. Although minor disputes do occur, we must look at the situation from a broader angle,” he said.

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